Kava Banned Countries

NOTE: For a continuously updated list of kava kava's legal status around the world, look to our Kava - Worldwide Legal Status post on Makaira's Blog.  She updates it whenever something relevant is published.

There is a shrinking list of kava banned countries, and the United States, thankfully, is no longer one of them. One of the most surprising kava bans happens to be in the United States' closest northern neighbor, Canada. Canada is known for its open mindedness and often relaxed laws for many things, but kava has not been one of them.  There was a "stop sale" order issued in 2004 that prevents Canadian vendors from selling kava supplements to customers within Canada.

GREAT NEWS: We recently received a letter from the Natural Health Products Directorate that clearly states kava is NOT banned in Canada.  For an in-depth look, please look to our article, KAVA (NOT) BANNED IN CANADA.

What other countries are on the kava banned countries list? The only other major countries which have very unclear laws about whether or not kava is banned, controlled, illegal, or otherwise, are Britain (United Kingdom) and France. A few European countries have kava sale bans similar to the one in Canada, while other countries restrict the form in which kava can be sold. For instance, kava extract and supplements containing synthetic kavalactones cannot be sold in many EU member countries. However, customers living in European countries may be able to import kava for personal use; the rules differ by country, so we recommend you check with your country's Customs department.

Poland was the only European country we could find where kava was unequivocally banned. It is illegal to possess, sell, or cultivate kava in Poland. Norway and Sweden seem to consider kava a prescription medication, but they seem to consider anything that is herbal and has no specific law attached to it a prescription medication.  Germany banned kava in August of 2002, but they have since lifted the ban due to overwhelming evidence that their initial findings stating that it was unsafe were in error.

Full story is HERE.

Then there's Australia. We have had so many problems with importing things into Australia that we have added it to the kava banned countries list. According to officials in Australia, kava isn't illegal; it's simply regulated so they can track how much kava is coming into the country. Reportedly, one needs a license to import any of our products in Australia, but supposedly, it's simple for an individual to apply for and receive one. We don't have any specific information regarding such things because we have never applied for a license ourselves.

Australian Customs also allows individuals to bring up to 2 kilograms (about 4.5 pounds) of kava into the country, provided it is intended only for personal use. People importing a personal supply of kava into Australia must be at least 18 years of age, and cannot ship kava into the country separate from their luggage.

If you know of countries where kava is banned that we have not mentioned here, please keep us informed. We would like to have the most complete list on the net, but we can only do it with your help!